During the current Covid-19 pandemic many employers may be faced with the decision of making their employees redundant. If an employer wishes to make an employee redundant, then there are certain steps which need to be followed in line with the appropriate law set in place.
You must select employees for redundancy in a fair manner and not discriminate against any individuals or groups.
It is usually a good idea to apply a selection criteria, which may help you choose which employees to make redundant.
The following criteria can be used when selecting employees for redundancy:
• standard of work performance
• skills, qualifications or experience
• attendance record (do not include absence relating to disability or maternity) and disciplinary record
As an employer you should ensure that you make a fair decision and your decision should not be based on the following factors of the employees:
• disability, gender reassignment, age, religion or belief, race, sex, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership status
• pay and working hours
• the role of the employee
• trade union representative
• family related leave, such as paternity leave
• membership of a trade union
• pregnancy or maternity leave
• Employee work contract status
As an employer it is important that you discuss the business needs with your employees, as it will make them understand the future needs of the business. Given the Covid-19 pandemic, it is crucial for you to communicate with your employees if you intend to make them redundant. Try and explain to your employees the skills and experience needed for your business in the future.
In order to select employees in a fair manner, it is advisable that you try to score employees against the agreed selection criteria. This will help you avoid relying on one particular criterion and this in turn can lower the risk of discriminating against employees who are going to be made redundant.
It may be useful to know that when selecting employees, you should adopt an objective approach. You should try to discuss and explain to your employees how the selection process works. You may ask your employees to re-apply for their job role, in order to assist you in deciding. At all given times you should aim to be fair, when selecting employees for a job role.
When you follow the scoring criteria, you can decide how much you want to score each criteria. It is important that you provide written evidence to support how you have concluded such a score for a particular employee.
You may wish to alter the points you give to an employee for each criterion. By way of example, if it is agreed that an employee’s attendance record is less of a determining factor, then you may wish to allocate less points to this criterion. In turn, this creates an allowance which allows you to be more accommodating in how you score your employees.
When applying this selection criteria to the group of employees who face the potential risk of being made redundant, this is known as the pool of selection.
If your employees are selected for redundancy, then you will need to pay them in line with redundancy pay legislation.
Given the current Covid-19 pandemic and the struggle that many employers are facing, it is inevitable that there will be employees who will feel that they have been selected unjustly for redundancy. In order to avoid such a matter and preventing a claim escalating to the employment tribunal, you may wish to set up an appeal process for such employees.
If you would like to seek legal advice during this process or require independent legal advice in having Settlement Agreements signed, then please contact Nayyars Solicitors on 0161 225 1223.